NYT Cooking’s 20 Most Popular Recipes of 2020 – The New York Times

NYT Cooking’s 20 Most Popular Recipes of 2020

Caramelized shallot pasta, the perfect chocolate chip cookies, sour cream and onion chicken: These are the recipes that kept readers coming back for more.

Credit…Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott for The New York Times. Prop Stylist: Kalen Kaminski.

The year 2020 saw a lot of unexpected food trends: the rise of the bean, so many pastas and readers flocking to home cooking. These are our top 20 recipes by traffic, the recipes that readers came back to time and time again.

(View our complete collections of Our 50 Most Popular Recipes of 2020, Our 50 Most Popular Vegetarian Recipes of 2020, Our 50 Most Popular Desserts of 2020, and the 50 Recipes Our Readers Loved Most in 2020.)

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Credit…Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott for The New York Times. Prop Stylist: Kalen Kaminski.

An entire tube of tomato paste and a whole tin of anchovy fillets play support to a half-dozen caramelized shallots in this rich pasta from Alison Roman. Double the sauce, and keep it around for weeks to come.

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Credit…Ryan Liebe for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Hadas Smirnoff.

Ravneet Gill’s supersmart recipe omits expensive vanilla extract, but still yields incredible flavor. Don’t skip the overnight chill, or rolling the dough balls before chilling. It’s that attention to detail that truly makes them an exemplary cookie.

Recipe: Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Credit…Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich.

This recipe, from Ali Slagle, takes the best parts of sour cream and onion dip and applies them to … a weeknight chicken dish. The result is a tender (yes, tender!) chicken breast with a crisp exterior and the flavors of sour cream and onion dip. You’re welcome.

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Credit…Bryan Gardner for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

It turns out feta becomes goat-cheese creamy in the oven. That creaminess plays against tart tomatoes, earthy broccolini and bright lemon in this weeknight dinner from Yasmin Fahr, ready in less than 30 minutes. Play with it as you like, swapping out the vegetables depending on season.

Recipe: Sheet-Pan Baked Feta With Broccolini, Tomatoes and Lemon

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Credit…Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich.

Forget the beans. This may have been the year of the boneless, skinless chicken breast on NYT Cooking. Ali Slagle’s take uses mayonnaise as a marinade, to yield a particularly moist result, while the ginger and lime give the chicken big flavor. But best of all? It’s ready in 15 minutes.

Recipe: Ginger-Lime Chicken

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Credit…Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Rebecca Jurkevich.

Every bite of this dish is packed with salty, briny flavors and caramelized cauliflower. It’s a small main, or a satisfying side dish that you can also make vegetarian: Just leave out the pancetta.

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower With Pancetta, Olives and Crisp Parmesan

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Credit…Johnny Miller for The New York Times. Prop Stylist: Cindy DiPrima.

Beans had a huge moment in 2020, and this recipe from Alison Roman was no exception. This flexible stew is wildly adaptable: It plays well with broccoli rabe or kale, just about any kind of white beans or salty cheese.

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Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

This vegetarian take on the French classic is full of deep flavor, and comforting as can be. A mix of mushrooms is best, and as Melissa Clark notes, don’t skip caramelizing everything first. Take a cue from the readers who’ve made it and serve it over mashed potatoes, grits or a hearty polenta.

Recipe: Mushroom Bourguignon

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Credit…Christopher Simpson for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Another flexible stew, this recipe from Colu Henry is surprisingly rich while still being vegan. Use butter beans or cannellini, cherry tomatoes or grape, add greens or don’t. And, if you prefer (and don’t mind making the dish vegetarian, not vegan), finish it with a very welcome sprinkle of cheese.

Recipe: Roasted Tomato and White Bean Stew

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Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews.

Yewande Komolafe has a way with tofu. This take on it is pan-seared, and paired with a warming reduction of ginger and coconut milk. The blistered snap peas are a bright counter, but, as Yewande notes, any fresh green moment (snow peas, broccoli, asparagus) works.

Recipe: Crispy Tofu With Cashews and Blistered Snap Peas

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Credit…Bryan Gardner for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

Juicy heirloom tomatoes are best on their own, but this tart from Vallery Lomas may just be the next best thing. The tomatoes are nestled in an herbaceous custard, then baked off. To cut the prep time, use a premade crust.

Recipe: Heirloom Tomato Tart

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Credit…Julia Gartland for The New York Times (Photography and Styling)

Melissa Clark developed this recipe for Rosh Hashana, but it fits the bill for just about any night. The sweetness of the plums complements the rich, meaty chicken thighs and sharp bite of the red onions. Marinating helps here, so start it the night before. But, after that, this simple, satisfying meal is ready in an hour, max.

Recipe: Sheet-Pan Chicken With Roasted Plums and Onions

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Credit…Andrew Purcell for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne

If you love chickpeas and pasta, you’re not alone. This flexible take on the Roman dish from Colu Henry is easily tweaked, and ready in 30 minutes — a satisfying hearty weeknight main.

Recipe: Pasta e Ceci (Italian Pasta and Chickpea Stew)

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Credit…Yossy Arefi for The New York Times (Photography and Styling)

This one-bowl loaf from Yossy Arefi is just the thing when you’re craving carrot cake, but don’t want to go through a big production to get there. (No mixer!) It’s an ideal afternoon snack, and the lemon glaze is an unexpected alternative to cream cheese frosting.

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Credit…Romulo Yanes for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Vivian Lui.

After Samin Nosrat’s recipe was published on NYT Cooking, reports of runs on buttermilk started coming in. That’s how popular it was. Out of buttermilk? Samin suggests plain yogurt or kefir as substitutes. The result is a burnished bird with tender meat.

Recipe: Buttermilk-Brined Roast Turkey

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Credit…Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

Inspired by Indian dal, this meatless meal from Lidey Heuck is great for lunch or dinner, and great for freezing. Thai spices, like fresh ginger, turmeric and coconut milk, infuse the red lentils, brightening them. Skip the toasted coconut, if you like, but it adds a nice crunch at the end.

Recipe: Red Curry Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

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Credit…Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times (Photography and Styling)

Lovers of pan pizza rejoice! This recipe, which Tejal Rao brought to The Times from the King Arthur Flour test kitchen, has a long rest, so you’ll have to plan ahead. But the result is a flavorful, airy crust that’s wonderfully crispy at the edges.

Recipe: Cheesy Pan Pizza

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Credit…Andrew Purcell for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Carrie Purcell.

Jerrelle Guy’s simple-as-can-be dessert is just the thing when you want something warm, gooey and sweet without a lot of effort. Feel free to swap out the strawberries for any berry you have on hand — frozen or fresh. Some readers have even used stone fruit. They all play well against the cakey filling that’s sweetened with brown sugar.

Recipe: Strawberry Spoon Cake

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Credit…Gentl and Hyers for The New York Times (Photography and Styling)

The dough for these scones, from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery & Cafe, benefit from a bit of a rest. Prepare them a day in advance, then bake them off in the morning, for a tender, flaky treat full of fresh blueberries and finished with a maple glaze.

Recipe: Joanne Chang’s Maple-Blueberry Scones

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Credit…David Malosh for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.

This vegetarian option, which Alexa Weibel brought to The Times from Brooks Headley of Superiority Burger, relies on extra-firm tofu that’s marinated in pickle brine, then deep fried. The result is transcendent and an ideal meatless alternative to a fried chicken sandwich.

Recipe: Superiority Burger’s Crispy Fried Tofu Sandwich